23 Aug 2014
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Geneva Leaders Celebrate Education

Scores of local government officials, business owners, school administrators, educators and students come together for the annual leadership breakfast at the high school.

Geneva School District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler referenced famous Americans and ancient Greeks in his brief speech to community leaders Wednesday during a breakfast celebration of American Education Week at .

He quoted Diogenes Laertius ("The foundation of every state is the education of its youth."), Eleanor Roosevelt ("It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.") and Thomas Jefferson.

But perhaps the most relevant quote was his own, a paraphrase of Benjamin Franklin's advice from  Poor Richard's Almanac .

"A dime spent today saves a dollar down the road," he told an audience of more than 200 people

Mutchler said that the School District's is as good as it possibly can be in a down economy and with a state-funding system that is in a .

Mutchler credited his staff and the School Board for its foresight, saying the district started making spending reductions as early as 2003 in recognition of an economy that might be going south.

The district tightened its belt further in the past three or four years, applied for and won a AA+ bond rating to make dollars stretch further and manage longterm debt. 

"We were also successful in building the reserves so that we can save for a rainy day," he said. "We're there. It's raining right now. "

The district received a little help in that regard Wednesday morning, as Geneva Academic Foundation representative Mary Bencini presented District 304 with a check of  little more than $52,400. GAF raises funds for programs and equipment that the district otherwise would not be able to afford. Bencini said GAF received requests for scholarships and grants totaling more than $160,000.

is seeking end-of-the year donations to help prepare for the 2011 grant season. For more information, visit the GAF website.

While Mutchler addressed the School District's business side and —including that broke the 24 barrier for the first time in state report cards this year and seven —School Board President Mary Stith accented the human part of the education equation.

"Schools cannot do it alone. It has to be about community involvement and community trust," she said. "And I'm here to tell you, we get it, we understand the importance of community, and District 304 is grateful."

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